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3D scan and print yourself

Posted by our talented Simmons Graduate School intern, Tyler Kenney:

3D scanning has come to the library, and with it the ability to 3D print yourself.  By using an Xbox 360 Kinect and simply spinning in a chair, you can scan and print a bust of yourself.


To get started, make sure the Kinect is plugged in (into the computer and into the wall) and launch Skanect, which should be located on the iMac's desktop.  With Skanect launched just click 'new' (the default settings will work fine), and then 'start' - shown below:

After clicking 'start' it will bring you to this screen:


Now is when you want to correctly position yourself.  The white box outline shows the area that will be recorded.  Grab the mouse (you will need it later) and position yourself accordingly.  With the mouse on your lap, click the record button (the red button with a black center).  Once it starts recording, stay as still as possible and slowly rotate the chair with your feet 2-3 times.  When you are done rotating, click the button again to stop recording.  It will now mesh the scan together, and once it finishes doing that go to the 'Process' tab.  From there you can use 'Fill Holes' to fill in the gaps and holes that would otherwise make printing your scan impossible.  

As shown below:

After selecting 'Fill Holes', make sure 'Watertight' and 'Very Low' are selected, and then click run.  You can select a higher 'Smoothing' setting if you wish, just know that the more it is smoothed the more detail you will lose.  After filling in the holes and gaps, go to the 'Share' tab and select 'Export Model'.  Export it as an .stl, make sure the 'Scale' is set to millimeters or inches, save it to the desktop, and then you can import it into Tinkercad and clean it up.  Note: the scans will import at an extremely large size, when importing into Tinkercad scale it down to 15-20%.  It can be further scaled down and printed within the Cura software.


Have an Xbox 360 Kinect of your own?
Want to set up your own 3D scanner?

What you need:
Xbox 360 Kinect
360 Kinect AC adapter
Computer
Skanect

For Windows users it is incredibly easy.  Download the Microsoft Kinect SDK 1.8 and the latest version of Skanect.  After that, plug the kinect into the wall and into your computer.  The computer should download the rest of drivers automatically.  Launch Skanect and start scanning.

Mac users will have somewhat trickier time.  The Mac will not automatically download the drivers, and the Microsoft SDK will not work within the Mac operating system.  You can, however, follow online tutorials for setting up drivers that will work.  Tutorials for setting them up can be found here and, under 'Build Intructions', here.  These are instructions for setting up libfreenect, also known as OpenKinect, a set of open source Kinect drivers.  
Alternatively, users can try to set up their Kinect by following this tutorial.  
If libfreenect or the blog post instructions by themselves do not work (Skanect will be unable to detect a scanner/sensor), complete both of them.  The iMac at the library completed both (Mac OS 10.10) and it works.

You may also want to update your GPU drivers, just follow the links from the Skanect site.  
Shown below:


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